Saitama Seibu Lions (埼玉西武ライオンズ)

Tatsuya Imai: Did You Know



June 14 vs Yakult at MetLife Dome – Imai made his Ichi-gun debut and recorded a victory (six innings, 112 pitches, five hits, one run, topped out at 152km/h). He is the seventh player in Lions history to record a win in his first game, first since Kazuyuki Hoashi on March 27, 2001. He is the first starter since Daisuke Matsuzaka on April 7, 1999.

Imai is also the seventh Koshien Champion since 1950 to record a win in his first game, first since Yuki Saito and Yuya Fukui in 2011; and fifth Koshien Champion out of high school since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 1999.

Source: Nikkan Sports 6/14/2018, Tokyo Sports 6/14/2018, Sponichi 6/14/2018


Ichiro Tamura: Did You Know


Tamura told the media on June 12, 2018 that he filed marriage papers with an older woman from Saitama earlier in the day.

Source: Seibu 6/12/2018, Sports Hochi 6/12/2018, Sponichi 6/12/2018, Nikkan Sports 6/12/2018


[5/31/2018] Hideto Asamura earns domestic free agent option

Twenty-seven-year-old Hideto Asamura earned his domestic free agent option on May 31 with eight years of service time on the active roster.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/31/2018, Sanspo 5/31/2018, Sports Hochi 5/31/2018


Kazuki Kaneko: Did You Know



May 22 vs Softbank at YafuOku Dome – Kaneko entered the game in the seventh inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out swinging against Ren Kajiya. He led off the ninth inning with the first hit of his career: a home run to left off Yuito Mori (second game, second plate appearance).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/22/2018, Sanspo 5/22/2018


[5/10/2018] Seibu Lions to acquire Deunte Heath

The Seibu Lions announced today that they reached an agreement on a transfer for thirty-two-year-old pitcher Deunte Heath with the BC League’s Toyama GRN Thunderbirds. The former Hiroshima Carp was 1-0 with four saves and a 0.00 ERA over 9.0 innings in seven games for Toyama this year. He faced thirty-two hitters, allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out fourteen.

Source: Seibu 5/10/2018, Daily Sports 5/10/2018, Sponichi 5/10/2018, Tokyo Sports 5/10/2018, Sports Hochi 5/10/2018

[UPDATE 5/16 @ 3:01am]

The Lions held a press conference for Heath on May 15. He was assigned the uniform number 68. According to media reports, he agreed to a salary worth 175,000 US dollars plus incentives. He is scheduled to join the Ichi-gun team on May 16.

Source: Seibu 5/15/2018, Sanspo 5/15/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/15/2018, Sponichi 5/15/2018


[5/6/2018] Yusei Kikuchi taken off active roster with tight shoulder

Yusei Kikuchi was taken off the active roster on May 6 because of tightness in his left shoulder. The condition is not new (may have originated with neck pain from sleeping wrong back in March 14) and is also not considered serious (no pain, just tightness). He will be examined at a hospital as a precaution.

Kikuchi threw 104 pitches and allowed five runs over six innings during his last start on May 4. The Seibu Lions decided to take Kikuchi off the active roster after confirming the condition of his shoulder the following day on May 5.

Source: Sponichi 5/6/2018, Nikkan Sports 5/6/2018, Sanspo 5/6/2018, Sports Hochi 5/6/2018, Daily Sports 5/6/2018

[UPDATE 5/10 @ 3:59am]

Kikuchi was examined at a hospital in Tokyo on May 8 and diagnosed with decreased functionality in his shoulder. He will spend some time strengthening his shoulder and ultimately hopes to make it back to Ichi-gun in two to three weeks.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/9/2018, Sports Hochi 5/9/2018, Sanspo 5/9/2018

[UPDATE 5/26 @ 7:38am]

Kikuchi pitched in a Ni-gun game against Yakult on May 25. He allowed three runs (none earned) on four hits over two innings of work. He threw forty-seven pitches, struck out four, and topped out at 154km/h.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/25/2018, Sports Hochi 5/26/2018


Takumi Kuriyama: Did You Know


April 30 vs Rakuten at MetLife Dome – Kuriyama hit a double off Takahide Ikeda in the fourth inning and set a new Lions’ franchise record with his 309th career double. The previous record of 308 was held by Hiromichi Ishige

Source: Sanspo 4/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/30/2018

June 7 vs Yokohama at Yokohama Stadium – Kuriyama played in his 300th career Inter-league game. He joined Takashi Toritani and Takahiro Arai as the only players in NPB history to play in 300 Inter-league games.

Source: Daily Sports 6/8/2018, Sponichi 6/8/2018


[4/26/2018] Seibu nine or more in five straight, Yomiuri first twenty run game since 1955

The Seibu Lions set a Pacific League record on April 25 by scoring nine or more runs in their fifth straight game. From April 18: nine, nine, nine, eleven, twelve. The Hanshin Tigers are the only other team in NPB history to score nine or more runs in five consecutive games (2005, from April 2 to 7).

Source: Sponichi 4/26/2018, Sponichi 4/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2018

The Yomiuri Giants beat the Chunichi Dragons 20-4 on April 25. For the Giants, it was the tenth time they scored twenty or more runs in a game in franchise history, first since they recorded twenty-five runs against Hiroshima on June 22, 1955. For the Dragons, it was the first time they allowed twenty or more runs in a game since they gave up twenty runs against Yakult on May 3, 2004.

Source: Daily Sports 4/25/2018, Sponichi 4/25/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2018, ZakZak 4/26/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/25/2018, Sponichi 4/25/2018


[4/21/2018] Takeya Nakamura hurts left shoulder

Takeya Nakamura hit his left shoulder on the ground while playing defense in the fifth inning of a game against the Chiba Lotte Marines at MetLife Dome on April 21. He  was removed from the game on defense in the sixth inning as a precaution. He did not go to the hospital. The Seibu Lions will wait to see how Nakamura is feeling on Sunday.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/21/2018

[UPDATE 4/23 @ 4:51pm]

The Lions decided to take Nakamura off the active roster on April 22.

Source: Sanspo 4/22/2018, Sponichi 4/22/2018

[UPDATE 4/25 @ 6:54pm]

Nakamura was examined at a hospital in Tokyo on April 23. The Lions will wait about a week to see if the pain goes away. If it does, he will be able to slowly resume workouts. If not, he will be re-examined.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/24/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/25/2018


[4/16/2018] Brian Wolfe leaves start with elbow discomfort

Brian Wolfe started a game against the Rakuten Eagles at Rakuten Seimei on April 15. He was pulled from the game after he developed some tingling near his right elbow (he left after he threw two pitches to the eleventh batter of the first inning). The Seibu Lions will make a decision on Wolfe after he gets checked out at the hospital.

Source: Sanpso 4/15/2018, Sponichi 4/15/2018, Nikkan Sports 4/15/2018

[UPDATE 4/18 @ 3:38pm]

Wolfe was examined at a hospital in Tokyo on April 16. Doctors found that the tingling was caused by an ulnar nerve coming into contact with bone. He was treated with an injection. He was able to throw about thirty pitches in the bullpen on April  17.

Source: Tokyo Sports 4/17/2018, Sponichi 4/17/2018, Sanspo 4/17/2018